What Is Massage?
Massage is an ancient practice. There are references to its use in China as far back as 2700BC.
Records suggest it was also used in Japanese, Arabic, Egyptian, Indian, Persian, Greek and Roman cultures. Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, described the use of massage techniques for a wide range of conditions from sprains to constipation.
Whatever the reason you seek out a massage either for a luxurious treat, stress relief or pain management, massage therapy can be a powerful ally in your healthcare regimen.
One of the immediate benefits of massage is a feeling of deep relaxation and calm. This occurs because massage prompts the release of endorphins, the brain chemicals that produce feelings of wellbeing.
Levels of stress hormones, such as adrenalin, cortisol and norepinephrine, are also reduced. Studies tell us that high levels of stress hormones weaken the immune system.
Experts estimate that upwards of ninety percent of disease is stress related. And perhaps nothing ages us faster, internally and externally, than high stress. While eliminating anxiety and pressure there’s no denying the power of bodywork. Regardless of the adjectives we assign to it, massage can, without a doubt, help to manage stress.
Massages may be viewed as a treat, but new studies indicate they may have a variety of health benefits. Massage as medicine? That’s one prescription we’d all like!
How Can Massage Help Me?
The Physiological Effects of Massage
Effects on the Skeletal System
- It can help increase joint mobility by reducing any thickening of the connective tissue and helping to release restrictions in the facia.
- It helps to free adhesions, break down scar tissue and decrease inflammation. As a result it can help to restore range of motion to stiff joints.
- Massage improves muscle tone and balance, reducing the physical stress placed on bones and joints.
Effects on the Muscular System
- Massage relieves muscular tightness, stiffness, spasms and restrictions in the muscle tissue.
- It increases flexibility in the muscles due to muscular relaxation.
- It increases blood circulation bringing more oxygen and nutrients into the muscle. This reduces muscle fatigue and soreness.
- It promotes rapid removal of toxins and waste products from the muscle.
Massage’s effect on the Cardiovascular System helps to:
- Improve circulation by mechanically assisting the venous flow of blood back to the heart
- Dilate blood vessels helping them to work more efficiently
- Produce an enhanced blood flow; delivery of fresh oxygen and nutrients to the tissues is improved and the removal of waste products, toxins and carbon dioxide is hastened via the venous system
- Help temporarily to decrease blood pressure, due to dilation of capillaries
- Decrease the heart rate due to relaxation
- Reduce ischaemia (ischaemia is a reduction in the flow of blood to body parts, often marked by pain and tissue dysfunction).
Massage’s effect on the Lymphatic System helps to:
- Reduce oedema (excess fluid in the tissue) by increasing lymphatic drainage and the removal of waste from the system
- Regular massage may help to strengthen the immune system, due to increase in white blood cells.
Massage’s effect on the Nervous System helps to:
- Massage stimulates sensory receptors: this can either stimulate or soothe nerves depending on the techniques used.
- It also stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, helping promote relaxation and the reduction of stress.
- Massage helps to reduce pain by the release of endorphins.
Massage’s effect on the Skin helps to bring about:
- Improved circulation to the skin, increased nutrition to the cells and encouraging cell regeneration
- Improved elasticity of the skin
- Increased sebum production, helping to improve the skin’s suppleness and resistance to infection.
Its effects on the Respiratory System:
- Massage deepens respiration and improves lung capacity by relaxing any tightness in the respiratory muscles.
- It also slows down the rate of respiration due to the reduced stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system
Better sleep, less stress and a better mood... all results of a regular massage.
Take care of your body it’s the only place you have to live in
Myofascial Release is a hands on therapy focusing on soft tissue dysfunction, pain and holding patterns. It is a non-invasive treatment that involves gentle sustained pressure and aims at stimulating the body self-healing mechanism.
The term Myofascia is derived from the Greek word “myo”, meaning “muscle” and “fascia”, meaning “band. Fascia is a multi-dimensional web that surrounds, protects and supports every other structure of the human body. It is the largest system in the body; it runs from head to toe without interruptions. Myofascial Release has to do with fluid dynamics. Our bodies are 75% fluid. The release feels like a melting or yielding sensation because the sustained pressure allows the dehydration of the ground substance in the fascia to soften, to become more fluid and in turn glide properly. The minimum time needed for the tissues to begin to rearrange themselves is approximately 90 to 120 seconds.
The therapist looks and feels for areas of restriction aiming to find the origin of the discomfort and release it and then works with creating balance and restoring function. Each session offers a unique treatment.
Myofascial Release can be performed as a stand-alone treatment or can be incorporated in to a massage session. The technique does not need to be applied to every area of the body in one session because it will in any case have beneficial effects on the whole body.
Benefits of Myofascial Release:
- General increase in health due to the increase in water volume within the tissues
- Promotion of relaxation and a sense of well being
- Elimination of general pain and discomfort
- Re-established and improved range of movement and muscle function
- Improved digestion, absorption and elimination
- Restored balance and promotion of correct posture
Warm Bamboo Massage
The healing art of bamboo therapy, using various massage techniques and warm bamboo sticks, relaxes the body at its deepest level and is effective in creating harmony and balance.
The heat form the sticks penetrates to a deeper level bringing about physiological changes as well as influencing the body’s internal energy flow(Chi) therefore bringing a balance to both body and mind.
Massage is the perfect way to nurture our bodies and our mind and incorporating bamboo sticks into a treatment can enhance the power of this contact.
Please note my services do not serve as a substitute for professional medical advice, examination, diagnosis or treatment. I do not claim to cure or diagnose any medical condition and that I do NOT give professional medical advice. Please seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. You should never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it.
If you have a health problem, medical emergency, or a general health question, I recommend that you should consult a doctor.